Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
of the shopkeeper who had sold him the cigars, and put it away somewhere to be brought out when he wanted it.  The visitors, not agreeably impressed beforehand by Golenishtchev’s account of the artist, were still less so by his personal appearance.  Thick-set and of middle height, with nimble movements, with his brown hat, olive-green coat and narrow trousers—­though wide trousers had been a long while in fashion,—­most of all, with the ordinariness of his broad face, and the combined expression of timidity and anxiety to keep up his dignity, Mihailov made an unpleasant impression.

“Please step in,” he said, trying to look indifferent, and going into the passage he took a key out of his pocket and opened the door.

Chapter 11

On entering the studio, Mihailov once more scanned his visitors and noted down in his imagination Vronsky’s expression too, and especially his jaws.  Although his artistic sense was unceasingly at work collecting materials, although he felt a continually increasing excitement as the moment of criticizing his work drew nearer, he rapidly and subtly formed, from imperceptible signs, a mental image of these three persons.

That fellow (Golenishtchev) was a Russian living here.  Mihailov did not remember his surname nor where he had met him, nor what he had said to him.  He only remembered his face as he remembered all the faces he had ever seen; but he remembered, too, that it was one of the faces laid by in his memory in the immense class of the falsely consequential and poor in expression.  The abundant hair and very open forehead gave an appearance of consequence to the face, which had only one expression—­a petty, childish, peevish expression, concentrated just above the bridge of the narrow nose.  Vronsky and Madame Karenina must be, Mihailov supposed, distinguished and wealthy Russians, knowing nothing about art, like all those wealthy Russians, but posing as amateurs and connoisseurs.  “Most likely they’ve already looked at all the antiques, and now they’re making the round of the studios of the new people, the German humbug, and the cracked Pre-Raphaelite English fellow, and have only come to me to make the point of view complete,” he thought.  He was well acquainted with the way dilettanti have (the cleverer they were the worse he found them) of looking at the works of contemporary artists with the sole object of being in a position to say that art is a thing of the past, and that the more one sees of the new men the more one sees how inimitable the works of the great old masters have remained.  He expected all this; he saw it all in their faces, he saw it in the careless indifference with which they talked among themselves, stared at the lay figures and busts, and walked about in leisurely fashion, waiting for him to uncover his picture.  But in spite of this, while he was turning over his studies, pulling up the blinds and taking off the sheet, he was in intense excitement, especially as, in spite of his conviction that all distinguished and wealthy Russians were certain to be beasts and fools, he liked Vronsky, and still more Anna.

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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